July 29 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Saturday, July 29, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 29 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1958 at Cincinnati, the inaugural San Francisco Giants are half a game out of first place, trailing 3-2 with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th, Ray Jablonski hits a 2 run homer off of Willard Schmidt and we win it 5-3.  Jablonski spent two years with the Reds before coming over to the last New York Giants team in '57 (the only season of his career he had an OPS+ above 100) this was his only year in San Francisco, getting time at both third and left, he went to the Cards along with Bill White for Sam Jones.  Jablonski hit 21 homers in his two Giants seasons, this was the last one.

1991 home vs. Expos, we're 10 games back, but on a real roll, having won 8 in a row, we're up 6-5 in the 9th, the Expos have runners on the corners with one out and Delino DeShields at the plate - Dave Righetti gets him to go 4-6-3 to end the game.  The day before was Dennis Martinez's perfect game against the Dodgers.  Righetti was drafted 10th overall by the Rangers in the winter draft in '77 as an 18 year old lefty from San Jose City College (first overall pick was a catcher named Kalvin Adams who never made the bigs). He never played for Texas, he was part of a big 10 player deal with the Yankees, the biggest name headed the other way being Sparky Lyle.  Righetti got a cup of coffee in '79 but was Rookie of the Year with New York in '81 (the NL award went to Fernando with Tim Raines finishing second) Righetti led the league in ERA+ in '81, 174 in 105 IP.  Righetti wouldn't fall below 100 ERA+ in any season until '92.  He moved to the pen in '84 and remained the Yankee closer until leaving as a free agent before this season.  Righetti left almost everything in New York, he was okay this year as our closer (24 saves, 106 ERA+) but just fell off the table in '92 and was gone after the '93 season, a career Giants ERA+ of 78.  Righetti finished his career with the White Sox in '95.  He returned to the Giants organization in '99, joined the big league staff in 2000, and through 2017, remains as the pitching coach (the only guy to serve as a San Francisco coach longer is Ron Wotus, who is also still with the club as of this writing and started in '98).

1997 home vs. Mets, 5 days before we were 4 games up but now the lead is down to 1, we're down 2-1 in the 7th when Mark Lewis hits a 2 out grand slam off of Greg McMichael - we win this one 5-2.  Mark Lewis was supposed to be a star, he was the second overall pick in '88, Cleveland took him as a high school shortstop from Ohio (Andy Benes went first, Robin Ventura 10th, we took Royce Clayton 15th) but he never hit for the Indians and in before the '95 season they sent him to the Reds where he had the only good season of his career with the bat.  In '96 he was in Detroit, we picked him up before this season - he got 372 plate appearances backing up at third and second and was the same replacement level player for us that he was at every stop.  He'd leave at the end of the season and finished his career back in Cleveland in 2001.  Lewis had 48 career homers, 10 as a Giant, this was the only grand slam of his career.

2001 at Arizona, we are 5 games back, looking for a 4 game sweep in Phoenix, Randy Johnson strikes out 12 and walks just one - but Shawn Estes gives up only 4 hits in 8 innings, it's 2-2 with 2 out in the 9th, Marvin Benard hits a two run homer off of Byung-Hyun Kim and we're gonna win it 4-3.  The Mariners drafted Estes 11th overall as an 18 year old high school senior in 1991.  The Yankees took SI coverboy Brien Taylor first overall and he never pitched a game in the bigs, Two picks after the Mariners took Estes the Indians took a high school third baseman from New York City named Manny Ramirez.  We didn't pick until 33rd overall, we took a lefty from Long Beach St named Steve Whitaker who you do not remember because he only pitched as high as AAA for 16 games.  They can't all be Manny Ramirez.  Estes never pitched a game in Seattle, we got him during the '95 season along with Wilson Delgado for Salomon Torres.  Estes gets some starts in both '95 and '96 but becomes a full member of the rotation in '97, in which he has a 130 ERA+, it is by far the best season of his 13 year career.  This is his last season as a Giant, prior to '02 we send him to the Mets for Desi Relaford and Tsuyoshi Shinjo and then bounces around, after leaving New York he pitches for 5 more clubs, finishing up in San Diego in 2008.

Walk off 2009 home vs. Pirates, we're 8 games out, still in the postseason hunt, we 3 hit the Pirates, Matt Cain goes 8, allows only 3 singles, but we can't get him the win, it's scoreless in the bottom of the 10th, with two out Randy Winn singles home Eugenio Velez off of  Matt Capps for the 1-0 Giants victory.  Earlier in the day we made the Freddy Sanchez trade with Pittsburgh.  Randy Winn was a Giant for five seasons; for nearly all of that time he was our starting right fielder and for his Giants career was a dead average 100 OPS+ bat.  We got him at the deadline in '05 from Seattle for Jesse Foppert and Yorvit Torrealba, his best Giants seasons were '07 and '08, he hit .300 and cracked a 100 OPS+ in each.  In '08 he was over a 4 WAR player, through 2017 it's the 37th best season for a Giants right fielder in franchise history.  He falls off the table in '09, has a 76 OPS+ and never really is able to hit the ball again.  He signs with the Yankees before the '10 season and finishes his career in St Louis.  Through 2016, Randy Winn is the 39th greatest San Francisco Giant of all time.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

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